A couple of years ago I did a deep dive into Mindfulness. I'd heard people go on about how amazing and effective it was, but I'd never really understood the concept. I was struggling at the time with some tricky things going on in my life, so decided to find out what all the fuss was about. I gave it 100% - read a bunch of books, did a course in my neighbourhood, listened to many different experts on podcasts and in online conferences, downloaded some Apps. Like I say, it was a deep dive (I wrote all about it in my second memoir).
It was fascinating and powerful and utterly lifechanging. Mindfulness really is amazing and effective - just like everyone says! I heartily recommend you give it a nudge. Anyway - one of the major Mindfulness concepts I learned about was Acceptance.
Practicing Acceptance means making a conscious effort to accept everything that happens in my life. Even the disappointing, shitty, annoying or heartbreaking things. These sucky things are really hard and sometimes awful to deal with, but what I realised was that in the past I caused myself more angst on top of the sucky things by tightening inside and pushing against them. In other words, not accepting them.
I'd do lots of thinking along the lines of "it shouldn't be like this" or "they shouldn't act like that" or simply "I wish this wasn't happening". In other words I'd spend precious energy wishing the sucky stuff away rather than just accepting it is what it is and dealing with the reality of it.
It's counter-intuitive because our natural reaction is to push away and avoid horrible things (because frankly, who wants to welcome them!) but what I've discovered is that Acceptance isn't about welcoming tricky experiences or being a doormat or a sucker, it's about not adding layers of angst on top of what is already difficult. Does this make sense?
If we internally fight against the sucky thing by wishing it didn't exist or wasn't so ... it makes it worse for us. It's a hard concept to articulate and even harder to put into practice but I'm getting better at it.
Now when disappointing or sucky things happen I work hard to try and send myself mental messages such as "like it or not this has happened right now, how can I best deal with it?" Or "This person is tricky but they're in my life, how can I best manage my relationship with them" or simply "For better or worse this is happening, stay open hearted and deal with it."
Acceptance can be hard, but I highly recommend you try and adopt the concept into your life. It could make a subtle but powerful difference to your days.
Love, Mrs D xxx